Upper Madison River Report
The Upper is fishing great right now. Water temps are starting to drop with the longer early Fall nights. Lately fishing has been best a couple hours after sunrise, closer to mid morning and on, rather than right at day break. With the typical late summer flows, seek out areas with both depth and a bit of current speed. Gravel shelf drop offs and pockets are great areas to find trout feeding in the textured water. This change in depth creates a current break in otherwise fast water for the trout to hold in position. Although hoppers are still around, smaller terrestrials such as ants and beetles have been responsible for most of the surface action. Try a larger foam hopper that is easy to see, followed by a smaller darker ant or beetle. The hopper will act as your strike indicator as the ant drifts into position. For the deeper water, smaller size 16 and 18 attractor nymphs trailed behind a larger sculpin pattern will find some fish. If the dead drift approach isn't working, try a tight line swinging approach after a few initial mends.
The Month Ahead:
The next few weeks should continue to produce some good fishing. The Upper Madison fishes great right through October. Along with left over terrestrials, look for blue winged olives to make an appearance towards the end of the month. To target larger brown trout, experiment with different streamer patterns by switching flies often to figure out what size and color the trout want on that day.
Long Term Fishing Forecast:
The Upper Madison is a very consistent fishery and this season should continue to produce good results up and down the river. The reports listed above should hold out into mid September. Things start to change a bit later in the fall with some baetis mayflies becoming an important factor. Fall fishing is always good on the Upper Madison.